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Open AccessArticle

Interactive Graph Layout of a Million Nodes

1
Department of Computer Science, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA 24060, USA
2
Department of Computer and Information Science, University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, Dartmouth, MA 02747, USA
3
The Boeing Company, 3455 Airframe Dr, North Charleston, SC 29418, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Olga Kurasova
Informatics 2016, 3(4), 23; https://doi.org/10.3390/informatics3040023
Received: 30 August 2016 / Revised: 12 December 2016 / Accepted: 14 December 2016 / Published: 20 December 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Information Visualization for Massive Data)
Sensemaking of large graphs, specifically those with millions of nodes, is a crucial task in many fields. Automatic graph layout algorithms, augmented with real-time human-in-the-loop interaction, can potentially support sensemaking of large graphs. However, designing interactive algorithms to achieve this is challenging. In this paper, we tackle the scalability problem of interactive layout of large graphs, and contribute a new GPU-based force-directed layout algorithm that exploits graph topology. This algorithm can interactively layout graphs with millions of nodes, and support real-time interaction to explore alternative graph layouts. Users can directly manipulate the layout of vertices in a force-directed fashion. The complexity of traditional repulsive force computation is reduced by approximating calculations based on the hierarchical structure of multi-level clustered graphs. We evaluate the algorithm performance, and demonstrate human-in-the-loop layout in two sensemaking case studies. Moreover, we summarize lessons learned for designing interactive large graph layout algorithms on the GPU. View Full-Text
Keywords: graph layout; big data; visual graph exploration; human-in-the-loop analytics; GPU graph layout; big data; visual graph exploration; human-in-the-loop analytics; GPU
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Mi, P.; Sun, M.; Masiane, M.; Cao, Y.; North, C. Interactive Graph Layout of a Million Nodes. Informatics 2016, 3, 23.

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